Another year has come and gone and I can't help but take a moment to reflect on what I did and didn't accomplish in 2011. I look at my bucket list and see I checked off a few things--like taking two trips to Florida to reconnect with old friends Maggie and Allison. I had wanted to take my mother to Egypt but given the political upheaval that took place there this year, that wasn't going to happen. It terrified me watching that CBS news reporter recount getting raped in the midst of a crowd on 60 minutes during Egypt's revolution. No....... Mom and I won't be going there anytime soon.
It wasn't on my bucket list, but I did spend a week in Aruba, with mom, my cousin and aunt and got to know my neighbor Debbie better, since she lives in both Aruba and next door to me in Connecticut. Dawn and I did a weekend trip to scour the Brimfield flea market in Massachusetts and mom and I got up to the beaches of southern Maine in July. I stepped up to the plate and took care of my brother by taking him up to Boston three times in August to Mass General to address issues with his bad leg.
I'm going to pat myself on the back for being a good friend, daughter and sister this year. The home improvements that I wanted to do were put on hold because the foundation of the building I live has to be corrected. We are facing a deep slope that has eroded. Consequently the building is moving about an inch a year. The condo association has to put a retaining wall along the back--which they say they will do this spring. If I were to replace windows and cupboards, they would end up being crooked after the movement of the building is adjusted.
In terms of my health, I was lucky to get picked to participate in the Yale exercise hope study. I have definitely gotten more fit. But my weight? Let's just say I'm going to have to work harder on that. I only had one surgery this year in connection with my breast cancer. It was to make my left breast more symmetrical with my right breast, which was slightly larger. Dr. Ott-Young simply inserted a larger implant into my left breast and I think that's about as good as it's going to get. You can't erase scars so I can't complain. All my blood work this year showed no signs of cancer recurrence. I will be coming up on four years cancer free this coming March, so I just keep crossing my fingers.
Two fortuitous events that came about unexpectedly was that I got a new job last February and a new car just last week. I continue to see more of my friends and cousins lose either their mom or dad. Since I'm going to be 55 years old next month, that's what you can expect as you get older. Just this week alone, my second-cousins mom died, my ex-husband's father died and my friend Carol's mom died.
Knowing my own mother's days are numbered since she is 77 years old, I am glad I took the time this year to take her on two trips. We just finished a wonderful Christmas season together, too. I took her to The Nutcracker, I and we watched some good movies together.
On a sadder note, I said goodbye to Joe-Joe last March--the boyfriend that stood by me during my days of cancer treatment. He can't seem to shake his addiction to alcohol. I tried to help him for a long time, but at one point, I had to cut my losses and move on. He will always have a place in my heart. Sometimes, the dreams you have for your future get shattered. I had to face the reality of the situation, let go of a dream and look toward a new future. For a while it really broke my heart.
For the most part, 2011 was good to me. There were no deaths in the family, no major tragedies, unless you count the tree that fell down in my front yard as a result of Hurricane Irene. About 10 years ago I got into a car accident that totaled my car, but I walked away with nothing more than a stiff neck. I remember the police officer saying to me as I sat shell-shocked in the wreckage:"Lady, it's just a car. Count your blessings."
That's what I'm doing today. To all of you, I wish you a Happy New Year!